A culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion does not happen by chance. We have taken a deliberate approach to building ours.
This is Dominion Energy’s first external report devoted exclusively to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Our company has a long history of pursuing those objectives. We have previously covered some of our DE&I efforts in our annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report. As we look to the future, DE&I will play an increasingly important role as we position the company for success. Today, it is a core element of who we are. We are motivated by a sense of what is right, but also by competitive advantage. Our focus on DE&I ensures we are attracting and developing the best talent possible, promoting key initiatives to enhance our communities in an inclusive manner and engaging with diverse suppliers, while we pursue our fundamental reason for being: providing great service to our customers. Issuing this focused report is one way we can hold ourselves accountable for the commitments we have made. We are measuring progress while identifying opportunities to grow.
Our company’s core values of Safety, Ethics, Excellence, Embrace Change, and One Dominion Energy (our term for teamwork) drive everything we do. Ethics — doing what’s right — means treating people as they should be treated and requires faithfulness to diversity, equity, and inclusion. An intentional focus on DE&I can create a competitive advantage, by deepening our understanding of all customers’ perspectives, allowing us to reflect the values and contributions of our communities, and making us more responsive and innovative. With the approval and oversight of our Board of Directors, together with the support of leadership across the company, we are building a culture of DE&I for both our employees and the communities we serve. Importantly, we are building that culture in partnership with them. DE&I is integrated into all aspects of our corporate strategy.
We understand growing in DE&I is a journey — a marathon, not a sprint. At the same time, in recent years we have picked up the pace. The mileposts along our way include:
- Early 2000s: Executive Diversity Council formed.
- 2009: Student Intern Diversity Scholarship program established.
- 2015: Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) created; DE&I requirement added to annual incentive program.
- 2018: Formal Environmental Justice policy adopted.
- 2019: Annual Careers in Energy Diversity Student Conference launched.
- 2020: Diverse workforce representation goal and the HBCU PromiseSM both announced.
By the Numbers
Dominion Energy reports workforce representation numbers to comply with federal requirements, to track our progress, and to find opportunities for growth.
- From 2016 through 2020, we increased diverse hiring 13.4 percentage points, from 36.2% to 49.6%, and increased diverse workforce representation 2.7 percentage points, from 31.9% to 34.6%.
- During the same period, we increased diversity at the leadership level and at the executive level (our CEO’s direct reports are 71% diverse, for example).
- We are committed to increasing diverse workforce representation 1 percentage point each year with a goal of reaching at least 40% by year-end 2026.
- We achieved the 1 percentage point goal in 2020.
- Diverse hiring from 2016 through 2020 has grown:
- 10.4% for Women
- 3.4% for Blacks
- 2.8% for Hispanics
- 1.4% for Other
- 0.1% for Asians
The company’s employees are its most valuable assets. Nothing happens without them. We have programs and policies in place to increase diverse hiring and strengthen our culture of equity and inclusion. Our strategy takes a multi-faceted approach to build a stronger DE&I culture at every level, so employees can bring their whole selves to work each day.
- We have eight ERGs focused on employees, communities, business, and recruiting:
- African American
- Asian Pacific Islander
- Young Professionals
- The DE&I requirement for our annual incentive program (AIP) has included sexual-harassment training, leader-led training on discrimination in the workplace, supplier-diversity goals, and unconscious-bias training. Since we established the DE&I AIP goal in 2015, at least 95% of leaders and employees have completed it each year.
- Beginning in 2020, we added a personal holiday for all employees to commemorate Juneteenth.
- Our Careers in Energy Diversity Student Conference provides a unique path for us to identify diverse students to compete for internships (72 of the 125 students who attended the conference in 2020 earned internships).
We are committed to supporting and respecting all communities within our service areas — whether those communities are distinguished by geography, economics, race/ethnicity, or some other attribute.
- Launched and contributed $2 million toward a two-year, $5 million Social Justice and Community Rebuilding Grant Initiative to help address the fundamental causes of systemic racism. Recipients included Urban League affiliate offices in Hampton Roads, Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Columbia, South Carolina.
- Contributed an additional $2.2 million from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to organizations that directly support DE&I.
- Announced a six-year, $25 million commitment to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities and $10 million to provide scholarships to students from underrepresented communities.
Real commitment to DE&I involves making sure we conduct our core business in a way that is inclusive. We’re working hard to expand the number of small, local, and diverse companies we look to for the goods and services we rely on.
- Over the past five years, we have averaged 10.4 percent growth in supplier diversity spending.
- We ask our prime, non-diverse suppliers to award a minimum of 20 percent of their subcontracts to diverse suppliers.
Dominion Energy is a values-driven company. Our core values of Safety, Ethics, Excellence, Embrace Change, and One Dominion Energy, our term for teamwork, guide us in everything we do. They are not just words on a wall. We know that actions speak louder, and we live out our values in the way we work together every day, around the clock, to serve more than 7 million customers across 16 states.
Each of those values aligns with DE&I. We count on employees to coach and hold one another accountable on safety, which is much more likely to happen when teams are inclusive and respectful. Ethics involves treating people as they ought to be treated, which cannot happen without fidelity to the principles of DE&I. Excellence is more likely when we welcome the best ideas from all – promoting innovation and improving how we understand and serve our communities. Advancing DE&I requires individual and cultural growth, which requires embracing change. True teamwork happens only where genuine inclusiveness is present.
A profound transformation is taking place in how we meet the nation’s energy needs, and Dominion Energy is leading the way. We are cutting greenhouse gas emissions, expanding our renewable-energy portfolio, modernizing the grid, and exploring innovations, from hydrogen to small modular nuclear reactors. We are getting as clean as we can as fast as we can, without sacrificing safety, reliability, and affordability.
We have undergone transformations before. Our corporate forebears were involved in many businesses, from developing canals to operating electric streetcars. But our commitment to our core values never changes.
Foremost among our values is safety. Since 2006, we have cut our injury rate 75%. Safety has been at the heart of our response to the coronavirus. We acted swiftly to protect our employees and customers. At the same time, we focused on keeping the lights on and gas flowing safely, reliably, and affordably. And we stayed mindful of the stress many were experiencing, suspending disconnections for nonpayment, increasing funding for our energy-assistance programs, and forgiving customer accounts in arrears where we could, among other things. As a public-service company that is part of the broader social fabric, we have supported our communities for many decades. In 2020, we supported nonprofits doing the work of social justice and community rebuilding, including the We Care Rebuild Project in Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia, and My Brother’s Keeper in Durham, North Carolina. We established new grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as a scholarship program for minority students. We also found ways to continue our tradition of direct action. In a typical year, our employees volunteer more than 100,000 hours for activities such as improving playgrounds, cleaning up riverbanks, planting trees, and assembling hygiene kits for the unhoused.
One in five new hires has served in the military. Veterans are team-oriented, civic-minded, and mission-focused. They are a sustaining part of who we are.
So is the work we do to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Beginning in 2020 we committed to increasing diverse workforce representation 1 percentage point each year, from a baseline of 33.2%, with a goal of reaching at least 40% by year-end 2026. In the context of this goal the company defines “diverse” as non-minority female, minority male, minority female, and undeclared female.
The company is committed to providing employees with what they need to bring their whole selves to work. This is why we have leader-led training sessions on inclusion and respect in the workplace. It’s why our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) create small communities within our larger community, and help employees educate one another through activities such as “Lunch and Learn” events on inclusion. It’s why we pursue public projects through the lens of our Environmental Justice policy and why we work to create just transitions for our employees as we adapt to a clean-energy economy. These subjects are discussed at greater length below and in our latest Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report.
None of these efforts happen by chance. Building a culture that fosters DE&I takes leadership, with oversight from the Board of Directors, and clear direction and goals from our CEO. It also takes leadership among colleagues across the entire company. At the end of the day, our culture is the sum of all we do, the words we use, the choices we make, the tone we set. It is those actions that matter most, as we build a culture and a company that values DE&I.
Dominion Energy’s vision is to become the most sustainable energy company in the country. Environmental stewardship — such as our commitment to achieving net zero carbon and methane emissions across our operations by 2050 — makes up an important part of that. But we view sustainability more broadly. To us, it includes community vitality, social justice, workforce safety and development, and DE&I. These are the areas in which we must excel, and the stakeholder needs we must satisfy, in order to support the company’s long-term viability.
As we pursue that vision, we carry out our core mission, which consists of work taking place across five pillars:
- Delivering clean, reliable, affordable energy;
- Protecting the environment;
- Serving customers and communities;
- Empowering our people; and
- Creating shareholder value.
For reasons explained below, we consider DE&I essential to strategic execution in all of those pillars.
The Business Case
Abiding by the principles of DE&I is good for business. It enables us to better serve our customers, communities, and stakeholders. Drawing on the broadest possible candidate pool to find top-tier talent sets us up for long-term success by making us a stronger, more agile company — and a more innovative one, too.
The Boston Consulting Group found that companies with more diverse management report higher innovation-driven revenue. Other studies (such as that by McKinsey & Company) show that more diverse companies tend to outperform those that are less diverse.
In an era of rapid change, that matters immensely. Our company has benefitted from the creative energy of a diverse base of employees such as Pushpita Pawar, the technical lead for our Dominion Energy customer-service app; Sreeni Guntupalli, whose team won the 2020 Innovation Spark Tank competition for the idea to offer smart voice assistant skills for our customer service needs; Dean Combs, an engineering technical specialist in distribution reliability at Dominion Energy Virginia who won our 2019 Innovation Spark Tank competition for developing a device that measures wire gauges digitally (an approach that is safer, more reliable, and more accurate); and LaShay Isaac, Devin Norris, and others who developed a virtual platform to keep our internship program — a significant source of new employees — running smoothly during the pandemic.
In addition to innovation and performance, diverse companies have an edge in recruiting. One reason is obvious: Companies committed to diversity will cast the widest possible net. A second reason can be seen in a survey that found Millennials are substantially more interested in diversity and inclusion when considering potential employers than past generations. In other words, more diverse companies are more likely to attract deeper and more diverse applicant pools.
Finally, a strong culture of DE&I helps companies better manage risk. Diverse teams bring deeper understanding of customers and communities. They see around corners and are better positioned to identify challenges and opportunities. They have improved rates of morale, which is crucial to long-term success. And they bolster retention, as employees who feel like they are an essential part of the organization are less likely to leave the company when a competitor comes calling.
In short, DE&I is a core part of our long-term strategy for success.